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Assistant AG sentenced after DUI amended to reckless driving

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — An Assistant Attorney General at the AG's Office has been sentenced to 6 months probation after he pled guilty yesterday to an amended count of reckless driving, under a plea agreement that was accepted by the court.

William Ledoux appeared before District Court Judge Elvis P. Patea who, after reviewing the plea agreement, said that in cases involving a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge, the DUI is not amended to a lesser charge, and this is because the offender's court record would not reflect that there was a DUI charge against him.

Judge Patea told defense counsel Lorna Meredith and independent prosecutor David Vargas, that the practice when former District Court Judge John L. Ward presided, even when he took over as District Court judge, is that cases involving DUI charges generally don't amend the DUI to a lesser charge.

"I don't know if it fell out of practice over the last two years," Judge Patea said, adding that the careless driving charge should have been the one amended, not the DUI.

Nonetheless, court proceedings continued.

Altogether, Ledoux was issued three citations.

With his guilty plea, Ledoux admits that on Dec. 29, 2018 he operated a vehicle, after consuming alcohol, with a disregard for others and property.

In addition to 6 months probation, Ledoux is ordered to remain sober and drug free; and pay a law enforcement fee and the remaining $150 of a $500 fine ($350 was deferred). The fine will be deducted from the $500 bond he posted. Ledoux is restricted to driving (only from 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Friday) "to, from, and during work," Judge Patea ordered.